This is in the Charleston Gazette-Mail of Charleston, West Virginia, the state capital. Their headline is A student religious liberties bill is on the verge of passing the WV House. A free speech group says it creates confusion. They have a comments section. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The “West Virginia Student Religious Liberties Act” is up for passage in the state’s House of Delegates Tuesday.
Tuesday? That’s today. Their link takes you to the text of the bill. Among an ark-load of other things it says, with our bold font:
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated […], all relating to creating the West Virginia Student Religious Liberties Act; providing that public school district shall not discriminate against a student’s religious viewpoint or religious expression; providing that students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork and other written assignments without being penalized or rewarded …
We’ve seen bills like this before. For example, in 2017: Florida Senate Passes ‘Drool in School’ Bill, and in Ohio last year: Creationist Legislation in Ohio. None have become law yet — at least we don’t think so. Getting back to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, it tells us:
Eli Baumwell, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, says the legislation (House Bill 4069) will cause confusion. [Really?]
The bill’s sponsor is Delegate Gary Howell. Wikipedia has an article on him: Gary Howell, which says:
He has worked extensively in the motorsports industry. He has raced both stock cars and drag cars, built winning race cars, built award winning show cars, and designed racing parts. His media skills include hosting and writing a syndicated radio show, freelance writing automotive magazine articles, and guest appearances as technical expert on automotive TV shows.
And here’s his page at the legislature’s website: Gary G. Howell, which talks about his committees and all the bills he’s sponsored. Not very interesting.
The news article goes on and on, but it’s not about creationism. We’ll leave them here and wait for news of what the legislature is going to do with this mess. One never knows.
This link takes you to the legislature’s page on the bill’s status: House Bill 4069. Hey — it passed in the House! Now it moves on to the Senate. Isn’t this exciting?
The West Virginia legislature is scheduled to adjourn on 07 March, so they have time to pass this mess and send it to the governor for his signature. We shall see.
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